HE News Brief 20.8.12
By Abby Chau
- GLOBAL: ARWU publishes its 10th global rankings
- GERMANY: Bologna Process receives criticism
- UK: Hiking of tuition fees causes shake-up
- IRAN: Women barred from studying 77 subjects in 36 unis
The Academic Ranking of World Universities has published its 10th edition. 17 out of the top 20 performing institutions are from the United States with only Cambridge, Oxford, and the University of Tokyo joining the illustrious group. The Rankings is based on six indicators, famously taking account of Nobel prize and Field medal recipients. The top ranking institution in Europe is ETH Zurich.
The Bologna Process, which seeks to harmonise higher education systems across Europe, has come under attack in Germany. The president of the group that represents higher education leaders, Horst Hippler, says that the Process has failed in boosting student mobility, preparing students in certain fields, and are not developing students who for industry jobs. The Bologna Process was supposed to pave the way for degree recognition across borders, student mobility, and standardising courses such as reducing degree duration from four to three years.
As universities fees are tripling this autumn in England, many are contemplating the changing face of higher education. Private providers, which are not subject to the same restrictions as their public counterparts, have benefited from the changes. Both the University of Buckingham and BPP have reported significant increases in application this year. Crucially, both private providers allow students to graduate in two years which dramatically cuts overall costs for a degree. And as private providers expand, Pearson, the FTE 100 higher education publisher, is also joining the fray. It will be offering degree courses accredited by the Royal Holloway and Bedford New College. Meanwhile public institutions are able to admit as many AAB students as they can attract, which may cause a squeeze to universities in the ‘middle’ to compete for a smaller pool of applicants.
Women in Iran have been restricted from studying 77 subjects including accounting, engineering, and pure chemistry at 36 universities. Most natural sciences subjects including mathematics, forestry, petroleum-related subjects have also been banned from female students. Women are estimated to represent 60% of the student body. Universities have the power to determine which students to admit and they have the final say in terms of gender discrimination. The move has prompted a review by the Ministry of Education with potential, some say, for it to be overturned.